It's here people. We've been waiting and waiting, and the wine revolution is finally underway. This time last year it felt like there was hardly anywhere to get a decent glass of non-industrial wine in the city centre, but now we have Loose Canon, Frank's and First Draft all within spitting distance of Stephen's Green. A lot done, a lot more to do (like literally anywhere on the Northside), and if we could just do something about our horrifying alcohol taxes (we have the highest excise duties on wine in the entire EU) we'd all be able to put better stuff into our bodies, but that's for another day. For now, these are the best places to drink quality wine in Dublin...
1) Loose Canon
If you're wondering what all the fuss is about natural wine, Loose Canon should be your first stop. From the same owners as everyone's favourite brunch spot Meet Me In The Morning, Loose Canon is modelled on the natural wine shop/bars that seem to be on every corner of Paris. They have a regularly changing by the glass list, or you can drink anything from the shelf at €10 corkage. Epic cheese toasties and small plates are also available, and you can carry on the party by buying more wine and cheese to take home. Read more about Loose Canon here.
The first city centre wine bar that got us properly excited, Piglet seemed like something of an outlier when it opened in Temple Bar in late 2015, and quickly became an industry favourite. The bottle list is where most of the interesting stuff is, so going with a gang of experimental friends is the way to go. There are few places we'd rather be on a sunny evening than at one of the outside tables sipping a white port and tonic.
The new kid on the block, Frank's opened in a former butcher's shop in May, with the controversial approach of selling good wine at inexpensive prices, starting at just €4.50 a glass, which is practically free by Dublin standards. It's from the same guys who own Delahunt a few doors down, and there's a focus on minimal intervention wine on tap and in bottle. It's open for drink in or take home from Wednesday to Sunday, with the kitchen serving inventive small plates every day except Wednesday.
4) First Draft Coffee & Wine
Another much welcome newbie, First Draft Coffee & Wine opened last November, and it's safe to say it's the neighbourhood wine bar that Portobello was waiting for. Café by day, wine den by night, it's a super chilled place to hang out and drink wines made by real people with real (as opposed to made up for marketing purposes) stories. The usual small plates are available for satisfactory soakage, and you can buy wine to take home. Read more about First Draft here.